The importance of paver joint sand. Should you re-sand brick paver joints?

Brick pavers absolutely, 100% need to be re-sanded prior to sealing. The sand in the brick paver joints serves MANY integral purposes. Keeps joints stable, pavers level, insects out, plant life from growing between the joints and deters mold and mildew. Please read and educate yourself in this small write up before you let another brick paver sealing contractor talk you out of re-sanding your brick pavers…

Joint stabilization – If you don’t have sand in the joints, rain water or pool water will run between the brick paver joints, and wash out the base aggregate sand material your brick pavers float on, (usually a 1.5” – 2” sand base) making your brick pavers loose, wobbly, uneven, sunken in or even raised up in some areas. Commonly called “sub surface erosion” or “Degradation”.

Once the joint sand has been activated by the urethane in our Ure Seal h2o brick paver sealant, the 4 grain silica sand will become extremely hard, comparable to the consistency of concrete. Once its hard like this, as you can imagine, not only can water no longer wash out that aggregate material the brick pavers float on, but that solid joint sand acts as a nearly impenetrable barrier that weeds wont be able to break through and water won’t be able to stand between and below those paver joints, warmed by the Florida sun, creating the perfect environment for mold growth. As it acts as that barrier for mold and weeds, insects like ants will no longer be able to make their homes under your driveways or pool decks leaving small ant piles throughout your brick paver installation.

Many companies will advise against you having your brick paver joints sanded after cleaning and before sealing. Why? Because getting the joint sand to the ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) standard is a skill obtained only from a lot of experience doing that task. The ICPI calls for joint sand to be between 1/8th and 1/4th inch below the chamfer edge of the brick paver (the beveled edge around the individual brick). The reason for this recessed sand level as opposed to a high level like you would find grout between tiles in your home, is for two reasons. 1) The small 1/8th inch canal below the surface of the pavers allows for a channel that rain/pool water can find its way to the deco drain that you would find on a pool deck, or a path to trickle between the brick pavers in your front walkway down your brick paver driveway to the street gutters, or run off the side of the driveway. Reason # 2 you don’t want the joint sand flush with the tops of the pavers is so when the sealer does start to wear off years down the road, that sand that the contractor who didn’t follow the ICPI joint sand standards will stick to the bottom of your feet, or wash into the pool, clogging up your pool filter with sand or find its way on your car tires or shoe bottoms when you pull your car into the garage or walk into your homes entry way. The sand will also find its way all over the surface of the area making your sweeping job never end! When you want the job done correctly, contact the pro’s at Dura Guard at 727-218-4221. We don’t skate around the project by leaving out the most important steps as far as protecting and preserving your brick paver investment. There are a lot of companies that will try and encourage you against re-sanding the joints, or charge extra if you want them to re-sand the paver joints. Those are the companies that you want to stay away from. Usually the ones that encourage against it are the ones that have failed many times in attempting to sand the joints correctly.

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